Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £42,473, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for Expenditure in respect of sundry Public Buildings in Great Britain, not provided for on other Votes, including Historic Buildings, Ancient, Monuments, and Brompton Cemetery.
§ 6.0 P.M.
§ Captain HACKING
I am asking the Committee for a sum of money reference to which will be found under two subheadings on page 5 of the Supplementary Estimates. The first of those sub-headings is "B.B.—Repayment of Advances under the Land Registry (New Buildings) Act, 1900." It may be the wish of the Committee to hear exactly the position with regard to the money under that sub-head. The Land Transfer Act, 1897, gave power to require the registration of title on the sale of land. The fees for the registration had, by the Act, to cover all expenses in the working of the Act. Under the Land Registry (New Buildings) Act, 1900, with which we are directly concerned here, provision is made for new buildings for the Land Registry Offices. One Clause of that Act enabled the Treasury to borrow the amount which would be required by the Office of Works for the buildings. The 814 buildings, I should say in passing, are in Lincolns Inn Fields. The Office of Works claimed the requisite amount from the Treasury, who borrowed it from the National Debt Commissioners. The sum of money actually required for the buildings was £242,676. That amount of money was borrowed and was spent, and it was arranged that the money should he repayable by annuities of £11,095, such annuities to terminate in the year 1940. It is always difficult to estimate whether fees will exactly cover expenses, and I should repeat that under the Act of 1897 it was laid down that the fees for registration were to cover all expenses which would include the expenses of this annuity. As I say, it is always difficult to estimate whether fees will exactly cover expenditure.
It is quite clear that fees depend upon the number of transfers made in a particular 12 months, and to some extent upon other matters, and experience has shown us that sometimes there is an excess of fees over expenditure, and sometimes we find there is an excess of expenditure over fees. But in recent years, mainly due to very rigid economy, the fees have actually exceeded the cost of registry and the accumulation of this excess from 1898 to 1926 amounted to £115,216, as is shown in the explanation on page 6 of the Supplementary Estimate. That accumulation of excess fees went 815 towards extinguishing the liability, and this sum of £22,473 will actually extinguish the liability altogether, and there will be no further annuities. Under this Sub-head, therefore, I am not really asking for money, but really asking for permission to pay a debt by a lump sum instead of allowing future Estimates to bear the burden of this annuity, which, of course, has been diminishing as we have been able to pay back some of the capital. That principle I know will meet with the approval of the Committee, and I do not think I need dwell further on that Sub-head.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is it now proposed to reduce the fees for these transfers so as to enable the private person to exercise economy also?
§ Captain HACKING
I cannot make any statement with regard to the reduction of fees. That is not in my. Department, but now that the hon. and gallant Member knows the position he will be entitled to put a question to the Department concerned in regard to fees. It is not within my power to answer his question.
§ Captain HACKING
Yes, but we have been able to pay back out of the excess fees a sum of £115,000, thus greatly reducing the liability, and with this final 222,473 there will be no further annuities at all and the buildings will be completely free of debt. With regard to Sub-head I, which refers to fuel, light and household articles, I have little to add to what I told the Committee on the last Vote. I should say that this sum is not entirely in regard to fuel, although it mostly relates to fuel. The original estimate for fuel was £174,700, and the revised estimate is £250,900, making a difference of £76,200 in respect of fuel purchased during the period of the coal stoppage. So far as lighting is concerned, the original estimate was £101,300 and the revised estimate is £86,000. We have a saving there on the original estimate of £15,300. In regard to household articles, the original estimate was £17,710 'and the revised estimate is £19,810 or an increase of £2,100. Striking a balance on all these 816 three expenditures, we get a net sum required of £63,000. In regard to fuel, exactly the same arguments apply as those which were used in reference to the last Vote. The requirement is due to the extra cost of fuel, such as coal and coke, during the coal stoppage. In regard to the item for lighting, the saving of £15,300 shows a praiseworthy economy and possibly some slight inaccuracy in estimating. We had great difficulty in estimating the item for household articles for this 12 months because, for the first time, we have taken under our wing the prison services, and in undertaking new services of that kind it will be acknowledged that there is always a difficulty in estimating.
Will the hon. Gentleman tell us if there is any further liability in regard to taking foreign coal?
§ Captain HACKING
No, that is all wiped out. I explained that on the last Vote. So far as the anticipated savings on other sub-heads are concerned they amount to a total saving of £43,000. These savings are available on two subheads, namely, Maintenance and Rent. In regard to maintenance, there is a saving of £35,000 due, as before, to the stoppage in the coalfields reducing the output of steel and other building material which we could have used if they had been available. The saving under the subhead of Rents, is £8,000, and is due to a reduction in the number of hired buildings. Buildings have been surrendered which we thought we would have had to retain for a longer period than has proved to be the ease. These include Nos. 66 and 68, Victoria Street, which accommodated the staffs of the Board of Control and sections of the War Office, the Board of Trade, the Mercantile Marine and the Admiralty. These are now going back to their own buildings, and there is a saving of £3,100 owing to surrendering the building sooner than we anticipated. The date of surrender was 26th December, 1926. Then there is Cecil Chambers which accommodated the Pensions Appeal staffs and was surrendered on 12th August, 1926, at a saving of £1,800; and in connection with Ministry of Pensions accommodation throughout the country there has been a saving of 817 £3,100. The sum then for which I am asking, required for Class I, Vote 10—including, I repeat, the repayment of advances under the Land Registry Act, which is really not a charge—is only £42,473, which is merely 2.6 per cent. of the original Estimate. Again, I have taken the Committee into my confidence and given them the full details as far as I know them, and I hope they will deal with me as leniently as they did on the last occasion.
§ Mr. MARCH
I desire to move that the Vote be reduced by £100 in order to elicit, if possible, further information respecting the coal distribution.
I was not in the House when the question was raised on the previous Vote, and I only heard part of the Government explanation, but I think we should have some further information with regard to the transport of coal. I understand that the price of the coal purchased at the ports averaged 60s. and the cost of distribution averaged another 20s. That made 80s. for the coal as distributed to the cellars. Prior to the dispute I understand 38s. was the average price for coal delivered to London cellars. Now it has gone to 80s. Can the Minister tell us how the additional cost of transport is distributed? Is it distributed proportionately, a certain sum per ton going to the railway company and then a certain sum per ton being charged for delivery from the depots? There seems to be a big margin and one would be glad to know where it is going.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)
I understand these questions were asked on the preceding Vote regarding the distribution of coal. We cannot have a second discussion on the same subject on this Vote.
§ Mr. MARCH
I think I have already expressed my regret that I was not in my place when the first Vote was taken. Unfortunately, I had to go to get some tea, as I have had nothing since breakfast. [Laughter.] I know lots of people on the other side laugh, but we shall see those Benches opposite empty about eight o'clock, and hon. Members will then he rushing for something. I did not know that this particular matter had been mentioned, but I hope the Under-Secretary will give me some satisfaction in connection with my question.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I rise to deal not so much with the coal question as with Subhead BB. I think the Under-Secretary was far too modest in his references to that particular matter. He was almost apologetic. As a matter of fact the appearance of this figure on the Estimate is misleading, both to the Committee and to the country because the impression is created that there is an extra charge on the taxpayer of some £22,000 in respect of the Land Registry. As a matter of fact, exactly the contrary is the case because here is one of the rare Departments of the Government in which a profit has been earned by good management and efficiency. Yet the Under-Secretary instead of coming down as one would expect him to come here with his head in the air, proclaiming that a Government Department bas actually done better than was anticipated, comes to the House in a most apologetic manner. It is a very remarkable result. For a great number of years this Department showed a deficit, but during the last three or four years, I suppose by the efficient organisation and administration of the Department, you have had a large surplus, in spite of the fact—I would call to the attention of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy)—that these fees have been reduced and they have had to anticipate the rebate allowed for the paying off of the debt on the building from 1940 to 1927. That is a very remarkable result of efficient and good organisation. I know that there are people who are very opposed to land registration and who regard it as a wicked kind of Socialism and as likely to be a very costly experiment, but so well has this work been done that they are able to show this very good result and to bring this very nice little surplus into the pockets, not, it is true, of the community as a whole, but really into the pockets of the solicitors, who are a privileged class.
I would like to point out that this is the one Department since 1914 that has been able to reduce its fees, in spite of increased cost of paper, printing, wages, and so on. I think this ought to be given publicity, because some of us want this system of land registration to be spread all over the country. There is great opposition to that, but I think that instead of this figure appearing in a back 819 page mixed up with a lot of estimates of increased charge on the Exchequer, it ought to have appeared in a memorandum of its own, emblazoned with large gold letters, as the one case of good business from this Government. We are not allowed by law to hand over the money to the Exchequer, and the only way to get it by law was by paying off the loan on the land and buildings before the date when it was due. I assume that, having done that, they will be able still further to reduce their fees.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I must echo what the hon. Member has just said about the reduction of fees, but I do not agree with him in congratulating the Government on the working of this Department. The Under-Secretary for Home Affairs, whom I thank for his very lucid and full explanation and for the very nice way in which he did it, told us that this was a real case of economy, but somebody has to pay these fees, and the fact is that for years too high fees have been charged for the registration of land. I am unable to share the wish that this should be extended all over the country, and I do not think this is Government economy so much as an example of overcharging for the services of people to whom the unfortunate vendors and purchasers of land have to go because they have a monopoly. By law these fees have to be paid, and there is no escape, and it is easy, by adjusting the scale of fees, by differentiating, I mean, to show any kind of profit you like. I wish to press this question about the future fees. I think we ought to have some guarantee that this is not going to be a new mulch cow for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We have seen the example of the Road Fund raided for a certain purpose, and—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Member is not in order in referring to that upon this Vote.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I do not see why the present annuity, at the rate of £1,985, should not be continued for the full 14 years, which would make a total of £27,790.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Why should not those annuities of £1,900 have gone off Now we are using £22,000 to pay them off in one lump sum. However, I wish to point out that unless we get some guarantee that the future services will be wiped out, this will be a means of taxing a class of subjects in a way that has not been authorised by Parliament. That is my point, and I think we might have had some assurances on that point. I am sorry the Chancellor of the Excheque[...] is not here, and I suggest that we should get his views on the subject. The other point I want to raise is with reference to the savings. The hon. and gallant Gentleman told us that he had made a saving of £43,000 on rents and maintenance. With regard to rents, the explanation was satisfactory and complete, but with regard to maintenance, he refers to the main Estimates, to the maintenance subheads, of which I see there are three. There is, first, the maintenance and repairs of public offices, under subhead C, then maintenance and repairs of historic buildings, and under subhead E, maintenance and repairs of ancient monuments. We have had no indication of how the savings have been effected. The slim is substantial. and I wish to know whether the saving has been effected by not keeping up the repairs of public offices, which may be a very false economy, or whether it has been effected in the necessary repairs to historic buildings not having been carried out, which may be an irreparable disaster. I would much rather see this Government fall into oblivion for ever than see one of our historic monuments or buildings suffer for lack of a little necessary expenditure.
I know that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has a large Department to help administer, and I do not expect him to be able to answer straight off with details, but when we see a saving of this substantial sum. I think we ought to know how it has been brought about. I do not think it is fair to say we could not get the material because of the coal Stoppage. Other building went on all through the coal stoppage. I never heard of buildings being held up where private enterprise was concerned. During the coal stoppage I went almost every day along Piccadilly, and there I saw wonderful buildings going up. They did not 821 seem to be held up in any way by the stoppage, and I think it is a curious reason for the Government to bring forward that they allowed public monuments to fall into disrepair, or ancient monuments to be lest to the nation, or public offices not properly looked after because there was a coal stoppage. Unless the further explanation is satisfactory, I shall ask the Committee to vote for a reduction of this Vote.
Mr. HILTON YOUNG
May I ask the Under-Secretary whether we were right in understanding from him that the provision by which the excess fees arc devoted towards the cancellation of the annuities is a statutory provision?
§ Captain HACKING
It is a statutory provision. I have not the Statute in front of me, but the annuity was statutory, I think. Perhaps I had better have notice of the question, but it is really immaterial to this particular Vote.
I am very much obliged to the hon. and gallant Member in charge of the Vote. That is what understood from his preliminary observations—that it was a statutory provision. That gives rise to the observation that it is a clear, though small, instance of the essential vice of specific statutory sinking funds, because you have here two perfectly clear entries on capital account. You have outstanding advances, and you have the annuities to repay those advances. That is on capital account. On the other hand, you have two perfectly clear entries on revenue account. You have the excess fees got in, and you have the additional cost for fuel all over the offices. It would obviously be reasonable to set off your two revenue items one against the other, and bring these excess fees against the additional cost of fuel, and leave the capital account as it stood. The direct evil of the present course, which, we recognise, is enforced by Statute, is that it results in the total of the Estimates for the year being artificially swollen by the amount of £23,000, which, of course, is a had thing, as it makes things look worse than they really are, and that is bad for credit. The instance is worth noting. It is, as I have said, a single instance.
822 small but clear, of a constant vice in some of our minor financial provisions.
§ Mr. SCURR
I cannot altogether agree with my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) in his criticism of the Government in regard to the action they have taken under the Land Registry. I consider that this Department is exceedingly well administered, and I think I am right in saying that under the Act it is absolutely impossible for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to raid it. As a result of the clearing of these annuities and the paying down of this lump sum, it will be necessary in future for the fees for this service to be reduced, which will be a great advantage to those who have to make use of the service. I consider it in many ways a practical example or the value of Socialism in practice, for it has been a profit to the State and again to the various individuals. which is all that Socialism claims to be able to do. The point I want to make is, that I really do consider the way this is presented to the House is, if I may say so, rather calculated to deceive. If we look at Item I, we have "Fuel, Light and Household Articles," showing an additional sum of £03,000 required. That, of course, is absolutely incorrect. Seine of us were under the impression that it related entirely to the extra cost of fuel, which, it is alleged, was caused by the recent stoppage, but when the Minister rises in his place, he tells us somewhat differently. He tells us that the real amount expended on fuel was £10,000 more than the Estimate, or £76,000, and then he goes on to say that there has been a saving on light, approximately, of £15,000 and a loss on household articles of £2,100. No one could possibly gather that information from this Estimate, and I do submit it is absolutely bad accountancy. There is not a business concern in the City of London or anywhere else which would dare to present its accounts in that particular way.
We ought to have had in the Estimate the information that there has been a saving of £15,000 on light. How has that money been saved? Has it been saved by reason of the fact that during the coal stoppage offices were closed down at certain hours, and, therefore, so much light was not used; or was it due to the reduction in the cost of service of elec- 823 tric light, or perhaps some better method of lighting? In regard to the sum spent on coal, I say it is really calculated to deceive the Committee when the expenditure has been £76,000, and that item is not shown. That would be denounced by any accountant in regard to business enterprise in much harsher terms than I have used. We find that on this Supplementary Estimate not much more than one-third or a little over one-third of it is due to the emergency arising out of the coal dispute. The rest of it is due either to bad estimating or to some other reasons with which we are not acquainted.
I think this growing practice of Supplementary Estimates is a bad system all the way through. Attention has been called to it on more than one occasion by much' more important Members of this House than myself, but I also want to make this protest. The time ought to come when there should not be any Supplementary Estimates unless there is some very grave and serious emergency. Further than that, I think the form in which they are presented is calculated to deceive, and I hope, on future occasions, the proper information will be available to every Member of this House.
§ Mr. DENNIS HERBERT
There is another point to which, I think, it is only right to call attention on this Estimate, and that is the very large excess of fees for the cost of the Land Registry. Over and over again in this House it has been contended that the charging of fees for the purpose of discharging the expense of Government offices should not result in a large surplus. If it does, it is a form of taxation which is contrary to all the traditions of this House and al the rules of sound finance. Therefore, I hope that steps will now be taken to see that the fees are so reduced as not to result in a large windfall to the Exchequer from money which was sanctioned by Parliament to the extent of meeting expenses. I do not know whether this is exactly the time to discuss the matter of the Land Registry proceedings generally, but I think it would be in order, perhaps, to say, as one who has had a good deal of experience of the working of the Land Registry, that the fees which are charged by the Registry are far higher than they ought to be, and higher than is commensurate with the 824 fees paid for work which has to be done by solicitors at the Registry. But the immediate point is that the fees charged by Government Departments should be reduced, so that they do not result in a considerable taxation of a certain body of people in the form of charges for work done, when it is really taxation resulting in money coming into the Exchequer.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I regret I did not hear it. If the hon. Member will now move a reduction, I will put it.
§ Mr. PALING
In supporting the reduction, I want to admit that on the last Estimate, particularly with regard to the question of the increased price of coal, the hon. and gallant Member opposite gave us all the information for which we asked, or as much as he could,, and I do not intend to cover the same ground. But there is still some other information for which I wish to ask, and I am pretty sure, if he can give it, he will. I remember when one of the Ministers asked for a Supplementary Estimate of £3,000,00 in order to allow the Government to purchase foreign coal, Members on these benches were very anxious to know al-. about it, but the answer we got from the Minister responsible was that in the interest of the public it was necessary to keep this business secret, and we were told that the time to get the information would be when these Estimates came up for consideration. Therefore, I would like to ask now what was the price paid for this coal in the foreign contracts. It, probably, will have I been a varying price; probably it will have gone up as the days, weeks and months went on, but if the hon. Gentleman can give us a fair average of the price, it will meet the question I am asking. Will he also give the pre-stoppage price per ton of coal in the country where it was bought?
825 Something was said by an hon. Member this afternoon to the effect that people interested in the shipment of coal took advantage of the necessity of the nation during the stoppage, and increased the price. I want to ask whether that was so, or not. The third question I would ask is this: What was the average price of foreign coal in this country before the stoppage occurred? I believe I am right in assuming that there was a small amount of coal actually imported into this country even before the coal stoppage. Therefore, it ought to be easy to get what was the pre-stoppage cost of coal used in this country. Such information will enable us to make comparisons, and to see whether the argument put forward by the Minister, that they wanted to keep this business secret, so as to buy in those countries before they knew anything about it, was a justification for refusing that information at that moment. The last point I would put is this: I believe the hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge (Lieut.-Commander Burney) said the stoppage had taught us a few things, one of which was economy in the use of coal and that he hoped this economy would go on, and that the stoppage might prove to have been a really good thing, because we would be able to practise economy in the future owing to our experience, which we had not had in the past. Again, I may be wrong, hut I understood the hon. and gallant Member opposite to indicate assent when that statement was made.
§ Mr. PALING
Then I withdraw it. I would ask whether we on these benches shall be right in assuming that the argument of the hon. and gallant Member for Uxbridge will be an added incentive to the Government to do even worse next time than they did the last time?
If I may go back to the rather tamer matter of the Land Registry, there are one or two points on which I should like some information. The Minister will see that under the heading "B.B." he has to discharge the salaries and other expenses of the Land Registry Office. Can he give us details of those expenses? I believe land registration is compulsory so far as London is concerned—I think I am right 826 —and probably outside London. There must be some advantage in it, for apparently registration is going on out- side. Is any effort being made by the Minister to extend the registration of land outside London? I ask this because it is almost impossible, in this House or anywhere else, to ascertain the number of people who actually own land at the present time, and from that point of view the Land Registry might be of some value.
The Minister rather prided himself on the savings made in this Department, but he did not make it clear to the Committee whether the savings were owing to building operations being deferred or whether they were actual savings upon building work which it will not be necessary to undertake at all. Will this expenditure which has been saved this year come on next year, or is it wiped out for all time? The net saving in this Department, which has an expenditure of over 21,500,000, is extraordinarily small, and many hon. Members feel that in public building there is a field where the Government could practise very great economy. We have had very little saving in this Department this year, and I, and I think a good many more Members of our party, hope there will be a greater saving next year. Another point, of minor interest, which I wish to put to him is whether he can tell us why Brompton Cemetery comes under this Estimate? I have seen it included from time to time before, but I have never had an explanation as to why it comes in here, and why the Government deal with this cemetery apart from other cemeteries.
§ Mr. W. BAKER
I wish to say a few words regarding the section of the Vote referring to the Land Registry. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) was inclined to compliment the Government, and to rejoice at the excellent way in which this particular piece of machinery had been run, and his congratulations were apparently shared by an hon. Member behind me. I regret to say that I see very little ground for congratulation, although any criticism is not to be directed immediately to the present Government. The cost of the Land Registry building was to be redeemed in 40 years, and presumably the fees were fixed on the assumption that 40 years was the period necessary to 827 liquidate the cost of the building and the land on which it stands. Owing to the remarkable shortage of houses, a large number of poor men and women have been forced to purchase the houses in which they live, and in addition to the heavy burdens they have had to bear in the way of mortgage interest they have had super-imposed an excessive charge for land registry fees. The result of these numerous transactions has been that the cost of the building has been liquidated in 13 years less than the expected time. It is too late to recompense the people who have been compelled to pay fees in excess of what would have been necessary, but now that the cost of the building has been liquidated the fees ought to come down.
§ Mr. GILLETT
One matter which has been specially in the minds of the Public Accounts Committee is the amount of over-estimating that goes on. As I understand it, the original estimate for lighting was £101,000 and that has now been reduced to £86,000, a saving of 15,000. I would like to ask how it is that the original estimate was so much in excess of the final figure? Speaking from memory, the average excess in the case of over-estimates is 3 per cent. or 4 per cent., whereas this figure is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 14 or 15 per cent. too high. The Minister has also told us there have been savings in the rent of buildings. How is it that the time at which those buildings were to be vacated was not more accurately known when the estimates were being prepared? I should have thought the Department would have been aware of the date when a building was to be given up. Are we to understand that the staff which used to be housed in these different buildings has been dispensed with? And if they have been removed to other places, how is accommodation provided for them there? Shall we find in some other estimate an increase of expenditure for enlarging certain buildings, or is this an actual saving because staffs have been dispensed with and the buildings are no longer required? I should be glad if the Minister would say whether he is quite satisfied with the estimates from the point of view of estimating by the Department. Going back to the question of lighting, we know that the cost of lighting in some 828 districts has gone up since the General Strike, and one might have hazarded the suggestion that there would have been an increase in the cost of lighting; and in view of that I should like to know whether the Minister is quite satisfied with the Estimates as they were originally presented.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Although the hon. Gentleman was courtesy personified in replying to the Debate on the question of the purchase price of coal, I feel I must return to the same subject, because still more comprehensive explanations are necessary. He told us that, prior to the stoppage, the Government were paying, approximately, 38s. per ton for coal delivered to the cellars, whereas, during the stoppage, the approximate sum paid was £4. We know the Government set apart £3,000,000 for the purpose of purchasing coal from abroad. On one or two occasions—indeed, at Question Time this afternoon—the President of the Board of Trade has said, the Government made a profit on their purchases. He hopes to tell the house about it at a later date, and perhaps he is going to boast of their wonderful performances in the buying and selling of coal. I want to ask who were responsible for buying this coal for the Office of Works? Was there no sort of a Government between the Office of Works and those who were charged by the Government with the responsibility of purchasing coal abroad? If not, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will tell us why not. If the Government were purchasing coal from Silesia., or Belgium. or France, and were selling that coal at the ports at a considerably increased price, and making formidable profits, they were actually covering up the tracks of private traders and enabling those private traders to take advantage of the consumers in Britain, industrial and domestic, during the industrial strife. We are entitled to know if the Government agents who purchased coal abroad were permitted to that coal at the ports in Great Britain, and, if that was the case,' why the Office of Works did not purchase from the Government representatives the coal they required, without any profits entering into the transaction.
I can well remember how frequently the question was put to the Secretary for Mines as to why he did not control the 829 price of coal in the interests of poor consumers, and his invariable reply was that he had no powers to do so. I submit that unless clear and definite reasons are given for the lack of cohesion between the persons responsible for buying abroad on behalf of the Government and those who purchased for the Office of Works that, either consciously or sub-consciously, the Government were more responsible than any other body of people for maintaining the high prices of coal during the dispute. So far from having had no power to control the price of coal, the Government appear, on the face of the things, to have acted as a shield for private importers who were permitted to make higher profits than they could have hoped to obtained during a normal period, because the Government themselves were making a profit. The Minister ought to tell us whether the purchasers at the ports for the Office of Works took any care to see that they were purchasing coal imported by Government agents, and, if not, why that cooperation did not exist, and why they deliberately used their power to enable private importers and private salesmen to make unnecessary profits at the expense of the poorest section of the community.
§ Sir HENRY SLESSER
The hon. and gallant Member for Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) made a suggestion to the Committee which filled me with alarm. He suggested that a saving under one of the Sub-heads was due to a reduction on the maintenance of historic buildings and ancient monuments. If that be so, it is a terrible thing that such an ill-considered demand for economy should be made that these irreplaceable ancient buildings and monuments should be imperilled. If the Minister will assure me that the hon. and gallant Member is not rightly informed about that asumption, I will not pursue the argument, as it will have no substance in it.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Captain HACKING
I might answer at once, because the misunderstanding is very largely of my making. The hon. and gallant Member for Hull (Lieut. Commander Kenworthy) asked me whether the saving on maintenance came out of all the maintenance Sub-heads on page 71 of the main Estimates. I said that I thought they did. I have since been 830 informed that there is no saving at all on maintenance and repairs of historic buildings and maintenance and repairs of ancient monuments under those two Subheads. The only saving is under Subhead 3 on page 71 of the main Estimates.
Mr. ROY WILSON
I had not intended to take any part in this Debate, but it seems to me that hon. Members above the Gangway are stressing too much perhaps the high cost of coal by reason of the stoppage and by reason of the fact that the Government bought abroad. The facts seem to me perfectly obvious. Coal supplies in this country were entirely stopped, and the Government were forced to buy abroad in the only markets available to them for supplying coal to the industries of this country. I put this forward in all sincerity to hon. Members above the Gangway, that either our memories in this country are short, or that we arc ignoring the facts of recent history which bear directly on the high cost of coal. It is only a very few years ago since the Ruhr was occupied and the whole of the coal supplies of the Ruhr were dried up with the consequence of a serious shortage of coal on the Continent. What happened 1 Hon. Gentlemen who represent mining constituencies know that there was a tremendous demand for coal from Great Britain. Prices went soaring up so far as the foreign buyer was concerned, with great advantage to the mining industry at home during that time, and great advantage—although I am sorry to think it was only temporary—to the miners themselves. Exactly the same position happened at that time as during the coal stoppage here. I suggest to hon. Members on this side of the House that as this question of the cost of coal the Government runs through many of those Estimates it is just as well we should bear in mind the facts, and profit by an experience which happened in our own history, only the other way round, a few years ago.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
There is just one point I wish to-submit to the hon. And charge Gentleman in chare of the Estimates, and it bears on the point submitted by the last speaker. He suggests that, abroad, the Government, in the purchase of their coal, might be subjected in some degree to exploitation. Into that branch of the expenditure to which the 831 Government were committed I do not want to enter. What I am concerned with, and the question which I submit, is in connection with expenditure entered into by the Government at home. Following upon the point submitted by the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams), I want to ask the Under-Secretary this: We have been given to understand that when the coal reached home ports the cost to the Government was, approximately, 60s. per ton. For that, the Government could hardly be responsible. From the home port, whether it was a London dock or any other port, we understand that the price was increased from 60s. to 8.0s., costing a difference for home transport of 20s. per ton. The proportion of the £76,000 deficiency on the question of fuel would, therefore, for transport, alone be Seeing that this is under the supervision and within the control of the Government, how is it that the cost of transport is 60 high? My experience of transport leads me to believe that a very outside figure per ton on coal transported under such conditions should not be more than 10s. per ton, and, with satisfactory supervision and control, and in circumstances over which we had any control at all, I submit, at least, that on the transport of this coal from home port to cellar something approximating £10,000 might have been saved. I would invite the Minister to deal with that part of the transport question, and give an indication where they were at the mercy of some agency engaged in this business.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
I want to return to the point that I raised on the first Vote, but to seek a little more definite information than we have yet had from the hon. and gallant Member who is in charge of this Vote. First of all, I would like to ask him with regard to the £63,000 included in this Estimate for fuel, whether or not he can tell us quite definitely whether his Department received the coal or bought the coal from those Government agencies which were trading with the £3,000,000 voted as a credit by this House for the purpose of importing coal into this country. That point is of some importance, because I think, before these Estimates are passed, the Committee should be absolutely satisfied as to how the difference between the figure at which 832 the Government bought abroad and the figure which the Office of Works tell us it cost to get the coo 1 into the cellars, arose. On 2nd December last the Secretary for the Mines Department informed the House that approximately 19½ million tons of foreign coal had been imported into Great Britain up to the date since the commencement of the coal dispute, and, of that 19.½, million tons, 21 million tons had been directly imported by the Government under the scheme by which a £3,000,000 credit was provided for the purpose of importing coal, that £3,000,000 being used as a recurring credit for that purpose. He also went on to say that the average f.o.b. price paid for this 2½million tons of coal bought with Government money amounted to 30s. per ton; that is to say, the average price up to the period ending, I take it, 13th December. Those figures of 30s. a ton related to 26,004 tons of coal imported from Germany, and he also gave us figures relating to the importation of coal from Uppecr Silesia as having cost the Government 33s. 6d. per ton. The Upper Silesian coal covered some—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is not entitled to make the Supplementary Estimate an excuse for a discussion of the whole question of the price of coal. There are references in all those Estimates to the additional cost of fuel, and it cannot be made an excuse for a long discussion on the price of coal.
§ Mr. PALING
Is it not relevant to ask this question in view of the fact that when this question was before the House the Minister refused any information whatever and gave us to understand it was not in the public interest to do so, and that a full opportunity would be given to get the information when the Estimates came up.
§ Captain HACKING
May I suggest that the quarrel is rot so much between the Office of Works and the hon. Gentleman as between the hon. Gentleman and the Mines Department 1 I think the information desireds information that could be obtained from the Secretary to the Mines Department.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
With due respect to you, Sir, I should have thought that there 833 was a definite connection between the Estimates now before us and the arguments I was putting forth. What I was asking the hon. and gallant Member to explain was how it comes about that his Department are placing Estimates before us on the basis of 80s. per ton paid by them for coal delivered in the cellars whereas another Government Department, according to information given in the House on the 2nd December and on the 13th December, was baying foreign coal at an average price which is different.
§ Sir GERALD HOHLER
On a point of Order. I would like to submit that this matter does not; arise on this Vote. This Department bought no coal at all or imported any coal. It was simply supplied with coal from the appropriate Government Department. They did not import any coal in the sense of importing it themselves, and the other Government Department, the Ministry of Mines, or whatever Department it was, simply debited them with this charge.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it not within the Rules of Order, when a Supplementary Estimate has been submitted upon the responsibility of the Minister, who has stated that the cost was £4 per ton, to debate that point when we have information that another Government Department has purchased similar coal at 30s. per ton?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I want to point out that the Department concerned is not responsible for the organisation of the importation of coal and such points cannot be debated on this Vote. Such questions should he debated on the Vote for the Mines Department and not on this Vote.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
Surely a question as to whether or not this Estimate is a reasonable one depends upon the methods which were adopted to secure a supply of coal for the Department. We have repeatedly put this question, but we have not yet elicited an answer. Our point is, whether this coal was bought by the Department in the open market or whether it was supplied by the President of the Board of Trade, who, I think, is the Minister responsible for the importation of foreign coal by the Government? If that is so, will the Under-Secretary 834 explain how that 30s. per ton plus seaborne freightage across to Grimsby—
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
I think questions of that kind clearly show that they are not points that are open for discussion on this Vote. The Under-Secretary could not possibly deal with the question of the cost of the coal, because the hon. Gentleman in charge of this Vote is in no way responsible.
§ Mr. TAYLOR
I think I am entitled to press the point that the Committee will require to be satisfied, before this Vote is passed, that the price paid by the Department was the lowest they could obtain under the circumstances, and if there has been any lack of business discretion in the policy of the Department, I think that is a matter of criticism when the Estimates of the Department are before us. We, want to know why those responsible for this Department did not make an arrangement with another Government Department under which they might have received cheaper supplies, and I think we are entitled to ask for a fuller explanation on this point.
§ Sir G. HOHLER
I see on the Paper that the Supplementary Estimates for 1926 deal with the emergency services for the importation of coal. Surely that is the proper place to discuss these questions which are being raised by the hon. Member opposite?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think the Board of Trade is responsible for the price and not the Department concerned with this Vote.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I believe the Secretary for Mines stated that all foreign coal had to be screened and 50 per cent. had to be laid on one side. That means that the Department would require to get two tons of foreign coal in order to obtain one ton of coal fit to be used in this country. That may be the reason for the big increase in the price—namely, that it took two tons of foreign coal to produce one ton of coal fit for consumption. I think if the hon. and gallant Gentleman in charge of this Vote could explain that point, he would throw a good deal of light upon the questions asked from this side of the House. An hon Member opposite made a reference to the Ruhr, but he did not tell the House when he referred to the fact that Britain came in 835 for an advantage during the strike in the Ruhr, that we, through our coal merchants, were charging from £10 to £12 a ton for coal to the people who were formerly bur Allies.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think that point is a very long way indeed from the Vote which is now before us.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Other hon. Members went that distance, and I thought I should not be out of order in replying to them. We have been told that there has been a saving in light. I want to know was that only a temporary saving, or is it something that will be permanent. Is it merely an emergency saving, or is it due to some maladministration in the past? 1s the light as efficient as it was before, or have they adopted a more efficient light at less cost? We have no information as to whet-her there was any effort made to save in regard to coal. If there was a possibility in saving in regard to light there may have been some possibility of saving in regard to coal. I would like the Under-Secretary to give us some information on these points. It has been said that this extra cost is due to the coal stoppage. If so I think we should be given some relative figures showing what was the increase. We should be supplied with the average figures for the last four or five years, showing the cost of fuel, and if we had been supplied with those figures I feel sure we should have been able to show the relative value of foreign coal as corn pared with British coal.
§ Mr. BATEY
We have now been discussing the question of Government coal for three and a-half hours, and I think it is rather late for the Minister to run away now and endeavour to push the blame on the Secretary for Mines. Before you came into the Chair, Captain FitzRoy, the Under-Secretary told us that his Department had bought coal with the knowledge of the Secretary for Mines and therefore, he must have taken some responsibility for his Department buying this coal. Having taken that responsibility, I submit that we are entitled to criticise and ask questions, and demand to know where this coal was bought and so forth. This is a big item of £63,000 for foreign coal. We have just passed a Supplementary Estimate for £69,000, 836 and now we come to this Estimate for £63,000. I remember in December last putting a question to the Secretary for Mines asking whether the Government were losing money on the importation of foreign coal and the Minister, expanding his chest, declared that they were losing no money.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That question does not arise on the Vote we are discussing and the hon. Member is not in order in pursuing that subject.
§ Mr. PALING
We were told that there would be an opportunity of discussing this question on the Emergency Services. That is an Estimate which has already been passed, and we were not allowed to discuss this point on that Estimate. Therefore, I submit we ought to have that opportunity on this Vote.
§ Mr. BATEY
It has been claimed by the Secretary for Mines that the Government have made a profit, and not a loss on their coal purchases. During the Debate we have been told that this blackleg coal cost £4 per ton, and we were also informed that the last of this foreign coal was cleared on the 23rd December last. I want to remind the Secretary for Mines that that was three weeks after the collieries restarted work in this country.
§ Mr. BATEY
The Minister has told us that the Government, cleared the last of their foreign coal supplies on 23rd December. Now he says that that coal cost them 80s. a ton which accounts for the big figure in this Estimate. I am suggesting to the Minister that he could have got cheaper coil for at least three weeks in the month of December, and that there was no need for this Department to pay £4 a ton for blackleg coal. Besides, for the whole of the month of November they were bringing in this blackleg coal, until—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. and gallant Gentleman is not responsible for the importation of coal. I do not want to keep on ruling the hon. Member out of order.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I do not know whether that be the case, but, if this has been gone into on the previous
§ Estimate, we certainly cannot go into it again now.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £42,373, be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 119; Noes, 254.839
|Division No. 6.]||AYES.||[7.33 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Baker, Walter||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smillie, Robert|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|
|Bromley, J.||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kenyon, Barnet||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lansbury, George||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawrence, Susan||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Clowes, S.||Lindley, F. W.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacLaren, Andrew||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Maxton, James||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Duncan, C.||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||Morris, R. H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mosley, Oswald||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Oliver, George Harold||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Palin, John Henry||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Whiteley, W.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Purcell, A. A.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Robinson, W.C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Scurr, John||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards|
|Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cope, Major William|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. sir James T.||Briggs, J. Harold||Couper, J. B.|
|Albery, Irving James||Briscoe, Richard George||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Apsley, Lord||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Buckingham, Sir H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Burman, J. B.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Atkinson, C.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Campbell, E. T.||Dalziel, Sir Davison|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Carver, Major W. H.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cassels, J. D.||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Berry, Sir George||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W.)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bethel, A.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Christie, J. A.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Clayton, G. C.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||England, Colonel A.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cockcrill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Kennedy, A, R. (Preston)||Savery, S. S.|
|Fielden, E. B.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Scott, Rt. Hon. sir Leslie|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lamb, J. Q.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Shaw, Lt. Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Forrest, W.||Lord, Sir Walter Greaves-||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Foster, Sir Henry S.||Lougher, L.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lumley, L. R.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Fremantle, Lieut. Colonel Francis E.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Mac Andrew, Major Charles Glen||Smithers, Waldron|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gates, Percy||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Macnaghten, Hon, sir Malcolm||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Stanley, Hon. O. F, G. (Westm'eland)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Grace, John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Margesson, Captain D.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Meller, R. J.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Merriman, F. B.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hanbury, C.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Harland, A.||Murchison, Sir C. K.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nelson, Sir Frank||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Neville, R. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Waddington, R.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Ward, Lt. Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Pennefather, Sir John||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wells, S. R.|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Phillipson, Mabel||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||pilcher, G.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Raine, W.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Ramsden, E.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hudson, Capt. A U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Rice, Sir Frederick||Withers, John James|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Huntingfield, Lord||Ropner, Major L.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Rye, F. G||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Jacob, A. E.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Maior Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sandon, Lord||Captain Lord Stanley.|
§ Original Question put.840
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 253; Noes, 119.843
|Division No. 7.]||AYES.||[7.41 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Buckingham, Sir H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Berry, Sir George||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Bethel, A.||Burman, J. B.|
|Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool, W. Derby)||Betterton, Henry B.||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward|
|Apsley, Lord||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Campbell, E. T.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Boothby, R. J. G.||Carver, Major W. H.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cassels, J. D.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Atkinson, C.||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Briggs, J. Harold||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.|
|Balniel, Lord||Briscoe, Richard George||Christie, J. A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Clayton, G. C.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cope, Major William||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Huntingfield, Lord||Sandon, Lord|
|Crookshank. Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hard, Percy A.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hurst, Gerald B.||Savery, S. S.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Jacob, A. E.||Shaw. R G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. McI. (Renfrew, W)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Jephcott, A. R.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Smithers, Waldron|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lamo, J. Q.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Lord, Sir Walter Greaves-||Stanley Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|England, Colonel A.||Lougher, L.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lumley, L. R.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||McLean, Major A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Forrest, W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Foster, sir Henry S.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Fremantle, Lieut. Colonel Francis E.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Captain D.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Gates, Percy||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Meller, R. J.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Merriman, F. B.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Grace, John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Waddington, R.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and otley)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Murchison, Sir C. K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wells, S. R.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Neville, R. J.||Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Newman, sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Hanbury, C.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Harland, A.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hartington, Marquess of||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Hawke, John Anthony||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Withers, John James|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Pennefather, Sir John||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Henderson, Capt R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wood, B. c. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Philipson, Mabel||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Pilcher, G.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Raine, W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Ramsden, E.|
|Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Captain Lord Stanley and Captain Bowyer.|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Holt, Capt. H, P.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Bromfield, William||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Bromley, J.||Dalton, Hugh|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Day, Colonel Harry|
|Baker, Walter||Cape, Thomas||Duncan, C.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Charleton, H. C.||Dunnico, H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Clowes, S.||Fenby, T. D.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Gardner, J. P.|
|Briant, Frank||Connolly, M.||Gibbins, Joseph|
|Broad, F. A.||Cove, W. G.||Gillett, George M.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||MacLaren, Andrew||Stamford, T. W.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Greenall, T.||March, S.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Maxton, James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Groves, T.||Montague, Frederick||Taylor, R. A.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Morris, R. H.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Mosley, Oswald||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Oliver, George Harold||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Hardie, George D.||Palin, John Henry||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Paling, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Riley, Ben||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Scrymgeour, E.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Scurr, John||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Sexton, James||Whiteley, W.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Kennedy, T.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lansbury, George||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Lawrence, Susan||Smillie, Robert||Wright, W.|
|Lee, F.||Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Lindley, F. W.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Lowth, T.||Snell, Harry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Lunn, William||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe)|